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Afghanistan Reconstruction

Series/Special. Special Inspector General John Sopko speaks about the future Afghanistan and how U.S. money is being spent there. New.




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Afghanistan 33, U.s. 23, Us 9, United States 3, Washington 3, Nsf 2, Sam Nunn 1, Mitra 1, Metra 1, Ltd. 1, Chris Van Hollon 1, Kohlberg 1, Kryzan Hollon 1, Bob 1, J. R. Bass 1, Cunningham 1, Bolger 1, Mark Scheider 1, Siga 1, Mr. Sopko 1,
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  CSPAN    Afghanistan Reconstruction    Series/Special. Special Inspector General John Sopko speaks  
   about the future Afghanistan and how U.S. money is being...  

    February 9, 2013
    4:20 - 5:15pm EST  

we have many tens of thousands of troops on the ground. we have what is expected to be a more rapid true drawdown from afghanistan over the next two years than i think any of our military planners and reconstruction officials had hoped for or expected. he has just published the first quarterly report of 2013. we look forward to hearing what he has been finding in afghanistan and what his views are on the future for of the reconstruction program in afghanistan. >> thank you very much. pleasure to be here. i have to apologize. for those of you in
afghanistan, you hit the kabul crud in winter. i will try to speak through that today. it is an honor to be here at csis. in many ways it is a bit of a homecoming. i see old friends of mine. i worked for over 15 years for the chairman of the csis board of trustees. he has been a tireless leader since 2000. in many ways, those 15 years that i spent help prepare me for my current job. i saw firsthand what congressional oversight can do
to improve policies of the united states government. this was later reinforced when i had a great opportunity to work with who i think many people have viewed as the father of oversight. from both of them, also learned the important role of an independent and aggressive inspector general. the statue in 1978 was to treat inspector general who told the truth to power. both of those men fully understood the role and importance of the inspector general and improving the operations of the united states government. those men have brought me to where i am today. it has been only seven months
since i have been appointed by president obama as a special inspector for afghan reconstruction. since then i have traveled twice to afghanistan and. i've spoken to all the major players as well as many of our nation's top policy makers and prestigious think tank expert is including many right here. i have learned a lot about our government's efforts there. what we have accomplished a lot we have not as well as the many challenges that still face us in that country. i have spent a great deal of time thinking about what my role is in in afghanistan. let me take a few minutes to tell you a little bit about siga. is a special inspector general for afghan reconstruction. it is the only agency in the
entire united states government whose mission is reconstruction in afghanistan. nothing else. we are unique. we had the unique authority to examine any project by any government agency operating in afghanistan dealing with reconstruction. we can look at the department of defense, department of state, department of justice, at any agency in afghanistan. we have the largest oversight presence on the ground in afghanistan. we have the most aggressive program. we also have the most successful record of working with afghan law enforcement in prosecuting interesting individuals in afghan courts. we are a temporary agency. we go out of existence. we sunset. when reconstruction drops below
250 million dollars. we are in the billions right now. we have some very unique contacting authorities. it allows us to get the best people as quickly as we can for what i think is the most dangerous oversight job in the united states government. this also give us the responsibility and the authority in statute to leave and recommend policies to improve the afghan reconstruction effort. accordingly, i believe it is our job to evaluate the bigger picture and offer direction as necessary and appropriate. just last wednesday, bob alluded to the fact i just returned from afghanistan. everyone there in the embassy
and military is intensely focused on the difficult task of trans during security responsibilities to the afghans by and into 2014. it is fair to say the success or failure of our entire investment in afghanistan is teetering on whether these two goals can be met. i have little doubt, especially speaking to all the latest members, that the men and women responsible for taking on this challenge are acutely aware of that situation. likewise, the newly installed
hundred 13 congress have the responsibility to ensure the next stage of our $100 billion decade-long reconstruction effort is properly directed to those projects that will have the greatest support. in light of my role, and our unique mandate, i want to pose to you a set of seven fundamental questions that i believe need to be asked of every plant reconstruction project by both congress and the executive branch in order to ensure their success. does that project or program make a clear and identifiable contribution to the national interest or strategic objectives t? do the afghans one of those
projects? do they need those? the third question is have those been coordinated with our allies, with the afghans, and internally with our own government. do security conditions commit effective implementation and oversight of those projects? do those programs and projects and have adequate safeguards to detect, it deter, and mitigate against corruption, which is endemic in afghanistan. to the afghans have the financial resources and technical capability of political will to take those programs and sustain them in the next decade ahead. lastly, i have the implementing
agencies establish meaningful unmeasurable metrics for determining success. and apply them to their own programs. to many of you, these questions seem simple. they are. what we have found in our work and what the other inspector general's have found is that they are often ignored by those designing and implementing our reconstruction programs. i would like to take some time to explain why i think these questions are important, discuss what our work is doing in share our plans for using these questions in the year to come. was it the first question. do the programs make a clear and
identifiable contribution to our national interest tha? primary goal as to prevent afghanistan from becoming a safe haven from all al qaeda are other terrorist groups. our central tenants to achieve this goal has been the counterinsurgency ore coin strategy. am our work we did our work has found instances in which we construction programs have failed to achieve this intended benefits in some cases have actually resulted in a first adverse -- in adverse effects. we have worked on the ldcf
program. they touted it as the "flagship coin programming." the primary goal was to create a stable environment of long-term political and social development. however, the program had not met its primary goals of extending the legitimacy of the afghan government nor had brought the government closer to the people. nor had a foster instability. my auditors found that each of the eight provinces with the most lgcd activity experienced dramatic increases in violence between 2006 and 2010. not be isolated, it did not achieve its intended goals. likewise, in july of last year, we issued a report on the afghan and restructure aip, which congress created. we found that five of the seven
fiscal year 2011 projects were behind schedule and some of them may not achieve in the positive point affects for several years, if at all. we also are identified some instances were the projects resulted in the adverse affects, because they either created an expectation gap or lacked citizen support. assessments to support the coin strategy in the coming years, including an audit their we will initiate on the stabilization projects.
the questions that should be asked our -- under the afghans want it? and do they need it? you'll be surprised how often we find the answer to this question is no. let me give you an example. a few days ago, as many of you probably saw on the press, we released an inspection report on the $7.3 million border police facility. when our inspectors went to visit the site, they found it and used. although the facility was built for 175 troopers, there were only 12 afghan personnel on site, and no one was sure among them whether the site was going to be used. moreover, our inspectors could
not even access most of the buildings, because they were locked and the border police personnel present did not have keys. now there is a bit of good news. the commander general boulder, which is responsible for these projects, agreed with our recommendations to reassess the plans and determine whether construction contracts can be downsized, facilities eliminated, were redesigned. this is a great example of power our work can lead to tangible improvements. i am especially pleased with the continued cooperation of general bolger and his team attempting to improve efforts on reconstruction. let me turn to another problem, which is that in our third question. that is, as the program or project been coordinated with other implemented u.s. agencies other international donors? the border police example is an example of poor coordination
with the afghan government. poor coordination with the u.s. government. strengthen the financial sectorwe found that even though the department of homeland security aware of the other's efforts.
over visibility of cash flows. as reported, ltd. interagency at risk of working a cross purposes and definitely not benefiting and leveraging existing relationships. the next question i posed is particularly important for as much as the agency's conditions permit and effective scheduled to end by december,u.s. and coalition forces have already pulled out of a number of locations in afghanistan, leading some of those places too dangerous for us or the implementing agencies to visit. some of you may have heard of a
afghanistan, which in essence the says that the military will only provide security in areas within an hour of a facility that can provide emergency care. the safe and bubble around of those medical facilities extend as far as a 20-minute helicopter that falls outside these bubbles will increase. accordingly, the number of u.s.- funded projects and programs that can be monitored and overseen by u.s. personnel will decrease.
and if we cannot get our to review a project or inspected facility and, it is highly unlikely that the agency's finding them can do either, whether an agency of the department of state, department of defense, department of justice, department of agriculture, any other of the myriad of agencies operating in afghanistan. as on our own operation and that of our colleagues and others in the law-enforcement community. monitor the activities funded by the multibillion-dollar concerns. security restrictions are not limited to just the world bank. just recently, one of my was beyond the golden hour, beyond
the security bubble, and therefore deemed too unsafe toas a result, we are unable right worth approximately $72 million. i want to take this opportunity to personally thank the operations under the command of colonel j. r. bass and the for the alabama national guard, who have done wonderful work in supporting us not only in afghanistan in the north, but elsewhere in the country. the security bubble. even in kabul, we find we cannot always get the protection we need to conduct our work. although kabul is clearly within the bubble, the regional security officer has informed us that because of limited resources, it is becoming increasingly difficult to
support all the requests for movement by u.s. personnel in the kabul area. two of my agents went into the field to inspect a potentially dangerous stretch of road as part of a criminal investigation into a contractor's failure to build systems designed to prevent insurgents from placing explosives in culverts along the road. my agents were surrounded by heavily-armed u.s. military units, who protected them as the agents literally ran down the road from culvert to kohlberg inspecting and autographing to see if there was a coal verge protection device there and whether it was adequate. i am happy to announce that while i was in afghanistan, those agents were able to arrest with afghan participation, and the afghan government is charging the contractor involved in this with crimes related to the fraud committed upon the government and negligent homicide of two u.s. personnel. we are developing alternative ways to conduct oversight in afghanistan, involving the
security environment. for example, we of local nationals on our staff and not subject to the same security restrictions that american employees are. in some cases, we may have to rely on them. we're also exploring the use of geo-space imaging. these efforts are helpful, but not preferred. the gold and standard on u.s. oversight is an employee trained to do u.s. oversight going out there inspected the site, inspect and the records, kickingunfortunately, we may not be able to do that for very much longer in afghanistan. ambassador cunningham and
general allen for their continued expressions of support for our work. both promise to me during my latest visit that they would ensure that our people would be able to access the same locations that their people can access. but ultimately, you can see that the question is, how far will their people be able to access? what will they be able to see? how far will they be able to go outside the kabul bubble? many of our programs will be exposed to increased risk, and misused, especially as we continue to use direct or on- budget assistance to the afghan red, and especially if we do so without opposing preconditions
effective personnel. the next question i posed deals with an equally significant problem, namely, corruption. are the reconstruction projects developed and planned to include deter, and mitigates corruption? foranistan's reputation corruption is deep-rooted and widespread. i do not have to devote too much time to that. a recent survey found that 60% of the afghans believe that corruption is a major problem, and even more believe that it is a major problem on the national level. an example of some of the work we had dealing with corruption was one that our office of special projects recently reported on dealing with
currency counters in the kabul international airport to count and track both cash flows are about get a stand. estimates of cash taken out of afghanistan in any given year are as high as $4.5 billion. however, those purchased and installed in 2011, we found that the afghan government has refused to use them. even worse, those identified by the afghan jimenez voip's, or in travel freely through the airport, raising the risk of money laundering and other corruption. to curb corruption. the july, 2012 donor's conference in tokyo led to a set of mutually agreed to principles that included incentives for the afghan government to combat corruption. and not enough is being done
quickly enough on these principles, particularly developing specific benchmarks. it has been almost eight months since this landmark agreement, and we still have not seen any concrete benchmarks. if not now, when will we see them. i can tell you that as a result afghanistan, i will shortly be putting the agencies on notice american taxpayer need to see concrete steps in place. to ensure adequate progress to combat corruption and improve governments. if this is not done immediately, i fear we risk the loss of u.s. and international donor supportcorruption can also undermine the sustainability of
reconstruction programs. a key concern for the u.s. and other international donors. series of questions. do the afghans have financial resources, a technical capacity and the political will to sustain the programs we are turning over to them? we have identified numerous examples of which the u.s. created a program or build the facility without consideration as to whether the afghan government could sustain it. in october, 2012, for example, we reported that the afghan government will unlikely be able to sustain the afghan security facilities after the transition in 2014. we found that the afghan
national security forces lack personnel with technical skills required to operate and maintain critical facilities and the afghan government have phil less than 40% of authorized operation and maintenance positions. likewise in 2010, we audited reconstruction efforts in afghanistan and we found that the afghan government was severely limited in its ability to operate the u.s. completed development projects in the province. as a result, many projects have become dilapidated or were in disrepair, including a number of projects completed under the commanders emergency response program, or cerp. in regard to the program, we were particularly troubled by some statements that senior officials had told us, that they did little more than check a box in the cerp project files to indicate that the afghan government agreed to fund and sustain those programs. the result is a waste of u.s. taxpayer money. by building infrastructure or developing programs that the afghans will never effectively used.
my seventh and last question is this -- have the implementing agencies established real metrics for measuring success? and are they using them? too often, we find that agencies are focused on output, not outcomes. for example, they are interested in how many teachers day of trade, how many schools built, how many kilometers of road they have built, how many culverts they have built, but not on what the result is. is there any result from doing that? these metra give us a part of the picture, but they do not truly give us meaningful assessment of whether programs have achieved their roles. for example, in 2011, we assessed efforts to rebuild the
capacity of the afghan ministry of agriculture to better serve farmers and promote private sector development. the u.s. embassy could not determine how much progress had been made from the project because all they had done was measure the products of capacity building efforts, such as the number of research stations it had built. a number of stations that have been rebuilt. the number of labs that had been built or rebuilt. rather than the results that have been achieved by the construction. looking for ways to assess the impact. what did a project or programif
we cannot answer the question now 11 years into the conflict, then why did we spend the money? at the end of the day, the american taxpayer needs to know what the u.s. reconstruction effort has accomplished. not as output. what is the outcome of all that money spent in afghanistan? questions. to the extent that agencies can answer in the affirmative to them, we believe that a project or program has a better chance of achieving real success. as in the case of the afghan and infrastructure program, or the border police in kunduz, or the currency counters in the kabul international airport, the dollars fine said the answer to these very basic questions is in the negative. it is time for them to
reevaluate continuing or starting the project or program. i particularly pose these questions in the quarterly report we issued last week. we are troubled now. we have been told that some of the agency's operating in afghanistan may be poised to obligate as much money as they can as soon as they can before the troops drawdown takes place. if this happens with our first assuring every answer those questions in the affirmative, we are likely to waste billions of taxpayer dollars. likewise, it is incumbent upon the congress to also keep these questions in mind as they review new authorization and appropriations. and as i mentioned, congress needs to assure itself that the almost $19 billion already appropriated, but not yet obligated, not yet spent, will only be spent if they have
evidence that the projects meet these seven requirements. obviously, we recognize that there may be projects that do not meet any or all of these seven questions. they still need to be funded. because the potential benefit clearly outweighs the inherent risk of failure. but if that is the case, the implementing agencies need to clearly articulate the reasons for doing so. and congress needs to will those agencies accountable to that explanation for why they took the risk. in conclusion, we are about to embark on a dramatic drop down
our troop level. at the same time, we are poised to turn over to the afghan government an unprecedented amount of buildings, projects, and funds. with the hope that they can manage them effectively. this is it risky endeavor. i believe that strong and independent oversight needs to be an essential component of such a withdrawal plans. we construction activities are to succeed. at no other time in our decade- long struggle in afghanistan has reconstruction really been so critical to our ultimate success. actually, as our own military role recede, the next two years and beyond, what some call the really be the decade of reconstruction. therefore, congress and the executive branch need to conduct a thorough re-examination of a
construction issues, programs, and projects. we are committed to the success of the military drawdown and closely working with the implementing agencies to ensure that we embark upon this next critical stage in the afghan reconstruction and the ultimate success. thank you very much. i am open to question. [applause] >> thank you very much. i am sure there are many questions in the audience. i ask that if any of you have a question, raise your hand and wait for the microphone. the we are live streaming and your question will not be heard if you are not at a microphone. please, identify yourself and
make sure you pose a brief question rather than give a speech. we have a lot of questions and a lot of interest and we would like to leave enough like -- enough time for mr. sopko to answer them. i have two questions here. i will take two questions at a time. >> thanks for the top. of those seven questions the u.s., and it would be difficult to get an affirmative response on all of those seven for any of the projects that we do. however, many would say there are intangible benefits that do not demonstrate a clear metrics on the back and they allow for building and for access for u.s. forces. are there intangible benefits that you can track and not have to tie into quantitative benefits on the back end? even if they are results based. and the second part is that we have already switched over to counterinsurgency effort.
how does that affect your inspection efforts? >> in your first question and all of your talk, you refer to programs, but never to plans. one of the issues is how you make trade-offs. do you have a coherent way to move forward? i wonder why the focus on programs, without looking at plans, when for example the afghan government estimates its aid flow will be cut from $4.6 billion in 2012 to under $800 million in 2014, even if you get the programs right. if you do not have a plan -- and similarly, when you looked at your transition plan in your own report, there is no plan. there is simply transition. it is not tracked to the nsf. that is question one. the other is measures of effectiveness.
you refer to the lack of measures of effectiveness being issued. the fact is, a lot of the measures we are using do not really make any sense, like education data, which ignore the actual computer spread and the gap between those data and reality. you have gdp data in your report, but obviously, nobody checked to see if the gdp per capita data you are using tracks between international organizations, which had a two to one difference. if we do not track the effectiveness, does it do any good to have measures of the effectiveness? >> ok, where we start? [laughter] let me try to deal with the first question. and then i will get to the multi part question.
on the intangible benefits, yes, we do recognize there are some. but what i was trying to say benefits for a program or policy, they should be articulated. we should find out after we go into the audit. i recall an instance where we were doing an audit the guy said, oh, our purpose is to do this and this. and we said, we ask you when we did the audit were your reasons work and you gave them to congress. we took your justification and applied it. particularly when you are looking at so many ip programs prove they had intangible benefits that they could not enumerate. that is not what they told
congress. i do not do policy. i do not do military policy or tactics. we do not do for a policy or tactics. we tried to get the policy. we say, this is your program, this is your policy, this is the one reason why you are doing it, then we see it is being done correctly according to the reasons you have articulated forwe do recognize there are intangibles. please articulate why. in response to the other questions, i should just say, yes. we agree. we're looking at some of the planning. and i agree with you. we are having a problem finding out what kind of planning is
going on. if anything, this speech is to go people into -- we hope you are doing the planning and we hope you keep these seven questions in mind. i was just in afghanistan asking whether they were planning. can you show is the plans? we have not seen them. we assume they are there. we have been told they are. we have not demanded them. each one of my assistant ig's is looking at the dod process. it will be looking at the impact overall to read instruction. is the planning good? i do not know. that is far want to highlight one particular problem that i had. we have not seen them. we have been told they are.
we have not demanded them. each one of my assistant ig's is looking at the dod process. it will be looking at the impact overall to read instruction. is the planning good? i do not know. that is far want to highlight one particular problem that i had. i have seen this for years with sam nunn, not surprised. that is, this mad rush to spend money. plans be damned, we will get the money out the door before the clock strikes 12. that is my fear, that we are just pump in the money out the door. you talked about the effectiveness and about our data. i will be honest, some of our data is probably not right. government. now i know, from the government. what can i say? we put out one of the most massive data calls of any u.s. agency every quarter. i have an entire staff that does that. and i have asked if we are not asking for the right data, please tell us what to look for. my extend that offer to anyone. if it is a reasonable request, we want that data.
part of the mandate, and part of what makes us unique at sigar is that we are required four times a year to do this mass of data call. if you look at the villa and -- at the quarterly report, three- quarters of the report is looking at all of that date and trying to put reasoning behind it. if you go to the reporter mitra be the one stop shopping for information on afghanistan reconstruction. are there problems with the data? yes, and that is why we footnote where we get it. and you are right, some of the data that our u.s. government is using is not the same data that the world bank is using or that is being used by other of
our allies. and i have only been there for three quarters. the first time i sat down and looked at the quarterly report, and you and i even had a conversation about that. the data that we are getting on the effectiveness of the afghan security forces, you had doubts and i had doubts. i told my people to start pulling the string. this is where action is very useful. i hate to say this, but i really rely upon you all here in the community in washington, d.c. and elsewhere who study the issues. you study the issues. we are just accountants and investigators. you said there was a question there. i thought there was a doubtful question there. and we have been pulling the string. and in the latest quarterly report, we raised concerns. raised in the second quarterly report. we have raised it again. now we will begin to look at what is behind the numbers. it looks like our data on the forces, the afghan security
forces that we will be relying upon, it may be bogus. we're pulling the string. we do not know what supports it. i hope that answers the question. we are open to any suggestions as well as any criticism of our data request. we would like to be as broad and thorough and deep as we can, but we can only rely upon -- i cannot subpoena government agencies, but i can send a nasty letter to their bosses saying that they are not helpful. the policymakers on the hill and in academia, and in the policy centers like csis, have the tools to help us to judge the effectiveness of programs in afghanistan.
>> mark scheider, international crisis group. >> this is a follow-up to tony's question. when you look up the milestone rating definitions for the nsf, one is, the department exists, but they cannot accomplish the mission. but the second one says, if they cannot accomplish the mission without significant coalition assistance, and that affects many of the entities within the defense ministry interior. have you looked at the downward trend in isaf and u.s. forces, which is providing benefits assistance? and as you move toward 2014,
many more of those entities without isaf assistance will be unable to accomplish their mission, and therefore unable to provide the security that reconstruction requires. >> the second question is over here. >> i returned from afghanistan a few weeks ago. i do not wish to announce my affiliation. you use terms like results, but it is not whether you are on retain the ban for the buck on -- whether you are auditing the bang for the buck on what is being spent, and the difference between that and the ultimate impact on how the afghan perceive the legitimacy of their government, which is the goal in the country.
without a clearly stated role for howard is measured and i'm -- clearly stated rules and standards, i'm not sure how you can expect partners to do what you are asking. are you audit team? -- are you auditing? are you monitoring, or doing an evaluation of the ultimate impact to the intervention? >> let me start with the ansf question. and this is a partial answer to the second question, too. although we have the largest presence, and i think we have taken the lead on a construction, there're other inspector general's working out there. we tried to coordinate our work
with the dod, state, and aid inspector general. we're looking at the numbers and what our process is for rating. we have raised some concerns and products even before i got there -- ian prior audits even before i got there about the standards for ratings. we have basically carved out, in conjunction with the other i.d.'s 'ig's, looking out support for ansf. let me just back up and say, why focus on ansf. the way the statute has been defined, reconstruction includes the support, training, the bullets, the guns, the building of bases and all of that, and actually, the salaries of the ansf. over 50% of the reconstruction
money is going to the ansf. that is how important is as was the security is to reconstruction. we are looking at a lot of the support for the nsf thethe ansf, -- support for the ansf, a fuel, weapons, literacy training, and we are looking up the numbers. at the training issues. where do they get the numbers of how many ansf troops are actually there, how many have deserted, and so forth. are they double counting and all of that. it is an important area, because as i said, over 50% is on
security. if you do not have security, the question about governance, the question about reconstruction pales in comparison. let me turn to lend legitimacy of the government. that is a policy question. we are not asking that. we are asking about the specific auditing of programs and policies and procedures. if it is to have legitimacy to the government, that is a stated goal of the program. we will take a stated goal and audit against it. in one case, one program was a promise to bring the government closer to the people and insure the central government. -- ensure greater support for the central government. we looked at that audit and said, we cannot be certain how you did, but violence went up, so we are not certain you accomplish your goal. one question is, and actually the penultimate question is about the legitimacy of the
government. i hope that answers your question. >> any final thoughts you would like to leave us with? >> i think it is something that i picked up while i was in afghanistan. keep this in mind. december, 2014 is not the end of the world. afghanistan will be there. the afghans will be there. and we will be there, as far as we can tell, until congress tells me differently. not only the u.s. government and assistance programs, but sigar will be there. we hope to work closely with our policy makers as well as the implementers to ensure that the next time frame we are successful, because that will be the reconstruction era. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you for your words and for your time today. thank you everybody for coming. this video will be posted on the csis web site. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> tomorrow on "washington journal", a former congressman? now moderate republicans in congress and the role they play on capitol hill. in the senate is expected to vote on monday. we'll talk about that debate in the senate with jim dandy. and later, a new look at north korea's missile capability. "washington journal" with your calls, a tweet, and e-mails live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
timarron "newsmakers,", representative kryzan hollon, the top democrat on the budget committee. -- representative chris van hollon, the top democrat on the budget committee. you can watch his interview on newsmakers tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern and again at 6:00 eastern time here on c-span. now pakistani and ambassador to the united states, shary rahman, talking about u.s.-pakistan relations, drug strikes, and other topics. this is just over an hour.
>> thanks for coming, everyone. i'm dave cook from the monitor. our guest is gerry grauman, pakistani ambassador to the united states. -- shary rahman, pakistani ambassador to the united states. we are grateful for your being here. our guest is a daughter of a prominent parent, and is a phi beta kappa graduate of smith college. she spent 20 years as a journalist in both print and broadcasting and rose to become the editor of the herald news magazine. she was first elected to parliament in 2002. to assert her -- assume her current post she stepped down from pakistani parliament and as chair person as -- of the red crescent society. now on two matters of process. as always, we're oe